Early last year I started a journey of learning more about what we put in and on our bodies daily. Is the food we’re eating really food? Are our cleaning products unsafe? Are our personal care products healthy? The information is overwhelming (and sometimes a bit sensational and one sided), but I wanted to start making real changes for the better.
It’s easy to get frustrated with all the information and suggestions. I try to learn and make gradual changes so my husband won’t call me crazy and promptly move out. He he. He would never do that!
I decided that since our skin is the largest organ of our body… that would be a good place to start. We scrub and smear products on ourselves and our children more often throughout the day than I realized. Deodorant. Shampoo. Soap. Sunscreen. Lotions. Lip balm. I read all about parabens and phlates and lots of other confusing words that essentially are the toxins in our products.
My research took me to The Environmental Working Group’s website called Skindeep. There you can find out how your toiletry and personal care products rate on their ‘hazard scale’. The scale is from zero to nine, zero being perfectly safe and nine being no good at all. So I went search crazy. I started searching everything our family used. And I was shocked. Floored. Freaked out! And my husband might have been annoyed, but whatever.
This face care line that was my yearly splurge ever since we moved to Africa where the sun is strong and harsh? Ranked an 8 for high hazard. Wow. I used these products religiously for five years thinking I was doing my skin good.
Wrong-o. Not good. BAD. Very bad.
L’oreal failed to inform me that they had in fact, been poisoning me for all those years. How rude of them.
And how about this sunscreen stick that I faithfully carried in my diaper bag?
It’s only a 3. But the identical Banana Boat version? A 7!!! A product marketed to protect babies from the rays of the sun was actually putting poison directly onto their skin (and therefore, into their bloodstream, cause that’s what happens when you put something on your skin).
Okay, maybe I sound like the sensational one here, but I get so angry! It’s so unhealthy! It’s toxic! And they sell it to us making us think that we are doing something good for our sweet little innocent offspring! Terrible. Just terrible.
Don’t even get me started on Johnson and Johnson. Okay. DO get me started!
Like many parents, we faithfully have bathed our children in Johnson’s baby wash and then smeared the sweet smelling lotion all over their tiny bodies from the start. This lotion rates a 7!
And here I am rubbing it into my newborn girlie after her first bath a couple year ago. Greeeeeeaaat.
Anyway it was recently all over the news (See here and here, for only two examples) that they admitted to their usage of toxic ingredients in their baby (and other) products. Basically, they knew it all along and kept doing it until they got caught.
Can’t we trust anyone these days!? Ha! I’m kidding. Sorta. I glanced through the list, and even Burts’s Bees and Aveeno had baby products rated at 7. And those are brands that are specifically marketed as natural and safe.
This rant could go on and on. But I think you get the idea.
Go to this website. Check out your products and learn about it for yourself. Know what you’re putting on your family’s skin. You may be surprised.
Some of our gradual changes have been:
-Making our own foaming handsoap with Dr. Bronner’s Castile soap (I’ll show you how soon!).
-Using Coconut Oil for moisturizing and to treat diaper rashes.
-Switching to unscented glycerin or organic soap instead of regular bar soap.
-Greatly decreasing the amount of shampoo we use.
Even these simple changes have greatly reduced the amount of chemicals we use on our skin greatly. We save money too (which is how I get my husband on board with some of these! Ha!)